eBay are in love with eBay coupon sales events

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eBay are using an eBay coupon on an ever more frequent basis having hooked on to the proposition that it’s the one lever they can pull which always triggers a mega buying day on the marketplace.

This past Friday the 3rd of August was another example where eBay gave 10% off in their PICKANY flash sale, this time across the entire site. Other sales events this year have included the PERFECT10 flash sale on Friday the 8th of June (in a wide selection of categories) and the PAY20LESS flash sale on Friday the 23rd of March.

These major eBay coupon sales are in addition to a raft of other sales events that eBay have run in conjunction with partners.

A 10% off flash sale in effect costs eBay little other than their seller fees for the day. On sales where eBay partner with their sellers to put offers together they generally ask the seller to discount by 10% and eBay use the money they’d have charged in final value fees to make up the other 10% of the discount offered to buyers (eBay fees vary by category between about 8% and 11% so in some categories eBay would have to make up the difference).

What a sale event does however is encourage buyers to start shopping on eBay again. eBay aren’t particularly interested in the buyers who as soon as a flash sale is announced spend £500 or £1,000 as these customers would probably have purchased anyway. What eBay really do like is when a lapsed customer comes back to the site or gets a message on their mobile app and makes a purchase, even if it’s only £20 or £30. If the buyer thinks that they got a great deal then they are much more likely to consider eBay the next time around.

That’s why on Amazon Prime Day eBay made such a big splash about having eBay deals at better prices than Amazon Prime Day deals, but without the cost of a membership subscription. eBay are going big on the value proposition and want to get the message out there they they are often cheaper than the Prime subscription based Amazon proposition and that shoppers can get a bargain.

If eBay comes to you asking if you would like to take part in a sales event but would need to discount your prices by 10% to take part, give the proposal some serious thought as the benefits could be much more long lasting than a single day’s sales.

With enough sales on a single item in a sales event you should be propelled to the top of eBay Best Match for the foreseeable future, even once the sales event is over and prices return to normal. The events are generally for relatively short periods of time but the longer term effects could be worth breaking even or perhaps even making a small loss during the sales period. It’s just one of the tools in your eBay arsenal and could be considered as an alternative to paying for eBay Promoted Listings where you could also spend additional fees in exchange for visibility – the difference being that with a sales even eBay will heavily market your items on your behalf.

16 Responses

  1. ” Membership subscription”, ebay are bit out of touch with what a Amazon PRIME membership actually gives you. Apart from having to prime a last minute pressie to a nephew as I was bad and forgot, I have not bought anything on Amazon since January. Amazon is actually pretty expensive now.

    PRIME for us is all about the TV is provides if I am honest, plus the inclusive music, you actually pay more to Netflix in a year than PRIME TV.

    On the other hand as many sales “genuine” sales events like the one on Friday and not some of the FAKE ones that have been run, that just puts people off.
    eBay is in decline and they know it, everyone does, so I think they should throw everything at it now as years of complacency has just let Amazon get so far ahead.

    If they really wanted to market a SALES event they would rather than sneak it through the backdoor on a Friday.

  2. As a business seller, I saw sales patterns that were not quite normal, such as buyers taking multiples of items that almost never sell in anything beyond a single unit. I believe it is fair to put these purchases down to the sale event.

    As someone who buys privately as well, I took advantage of the vouchers to buy things I’d had in mind, but was holding out on buying. After checking elsewhere to make sure the savings would be genuine, I used the voucher twice (separately). It was significantly cheaper than Amazon.

    I hope they’ll be doing a few more in future, but allow sellers to double down by running their own sales too, with the little offer/sale badges appearing next to listings. They could also promote them better. Ebay have radio adverts running during the day and I can’t see why these aren’t changed for the day of a sale to be about the sale, rather than having an advert for max £3 FVF for private sellers.

    That said, maybe they have their reasons for not promoting it. By keeping it on the down low, that might encourage ebayers to check in to ebay more often, to see what deals they have. Perhaps that is their marketing angle.

  3. @ Chris Dawson
    We have three eBay accounts, two business and 1 private. We received no email communication of the event- in fact the only way we learned about it was through Tamebay- so many thanks for that ?
    And if making people happy was ebays mantra, then a site that works properly would surely be top of the list?

  4. Yup same here, 2 ebay accounts and knew nothing till Tamebay came through, How long before Ebay buy Tamebay and use it as its sellers Public Relations unit, bets anyone ??

  5. I think they only send the emails out to private accounts and on both my business account and private account there is a little red banner at the very top of the page.
    As usual with ebay if you have a private account you get free listings, lower final value fees and sent any discounts or promotions.
    Business never see any offers or promotions on their fees, yet put up with an awful lot especially this summer of pictures going missing, potential of 4% extra on fees if ebay deem you below standard with their metric system.

  6. on another note, anyone know why the ebay mobile listings seem to only allow upto 12 of an item to be purchased at a time no matter there maybe 1000 available on the so called ‘classic’ site listing ?? Very annoying.

  7. Sorry Chris but I`d have to agree with others when they say that the event was almost invisable. I use a desktop, so a large screen, and all I could see was a tiny banner around 1.5cm long at the top of the page – no customers mentioned it and when I told one customer about the sale he said that not only did he not know about it but could not work out how to apply the discount (and yes I did try to explain to them but they just couldnt get their head around applying the coupon at checkout).

  8. Yep, same here. No notification or emails on either account. I only found out on Tamebay too!

  9. There was plenty of advertising on my computer. Very large banner on the homepage without even being logged in. Easy to see the code and I used it to purchase an item I was already going to, a bed which i would have waited a few more weeks till our room is decorated, but at already being the lowest price on the internet, the extra £37 discount is worth having it in the house an extra week.


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